The Collected Letters, Volume 25


TC TO JOHN A. CARLYLE ; 4 November 1850; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18501104-TC-JAC-01; CL 25: 273-274


Chelsea, 4 Novr, 1850—

My dear Brother,

Your Letter came duly from the Gill; many thanks to you for it: I meant to have answered on Saturday at latest, but was hurried that day.

We are tolerably well in health here, both of us; you are to tell my dear Mother that I have quite thrown off my little cold, and almost feel in general as if I had derived some real advantage from my late knocking about, full of tumult and confusion as that was. Indeed I am a degree stronger and quieter than when I set out on my roamings; which is usually the result, tho' one does not feel it till the general summing. I am also rather glad than otherwise to say that the Paris expedition is quite off for the present. The Grange Herrschaft [Master and Mistress] is all sickly; gone to Brighton; quite renounces farther travelling for the present season. “Probably just as well!” Our house here is all very bright and comfortable; decidedly the quietest bedroom I anywhere get is that cell of mine upstairs: I do feel as if it were snuggest to lie still here where I am. So that matter is settled.— We are again out of a servant, however: Jane is hiring a new one downstairs at this very moment! The new one we got at her return, a good Irish creature, full of promptitude, zeal and skill, broke out again into some old form of ill health, in two or three days; could swallow nothing that wd stay on her stomach,—literally, I think, had no sustenance at all for above a week, nor yet has any when we saw her last night:—we could do nothing for her or with her, but get her into the Middlesex Hospital; and there the poor soul lies, little hope of her, I am afraid, and she is far away from “Cashel”1 her native place; and can neither read nor write!— One of the Cooper's daughters serves in the interim; and this new subject about to be hired, a smart-looking mannerly English lass of 30, from Kent, who again “promises fair,” will come into play in a day or two. One has a frightful bother with that side of one's affairs just now! “Service,” I think, will by and by be recognised to be a mere mockery as we have it at present.

Poor George Bell:2 he held sore by life; but his struggle is now over! Poor old [Wright?],3 too (just my own age, and two days more); I was shocked to hear of his forlorn distressed situation. What you can do for him, I am sure, you will try to do. His brother Wull appears to behave generously, poor slut: if there is anything that can fall upon his Cousin Tom in supplement to these helps, I pray you let me know it, and it shall be attended to.— You will have told Austin how dangerous a burn in the foot is; no flesh to establish a cure upon? I hope to hear things are better there before long.

Jane undertook to write about the Scotsbrig butter &c; but must wait, I suppose, till the servant hurlyburly is a little settled,—a few days hence. This of Eliza Cook,4 brought to her by the Postman, written by I know not whom, is for my Mother's reading; and must be returned, pray attend to that when you write next. A really striking review of me was introduced by Darwin the other day, and I have read it, in the Dublin Review:5 I shd think, it is by some Newman Catholic; agrees with me, in all things, only damns me for not finding a remedy in the Pope.— Blessings to my Mother & you all.

T. Carlyle